06-Sep-2001 -- A friend emailed me the confluence website just a few weeks ago. Of course, the first thing I did was check to see where the closest unvisited confluence was! To my surprise, this one on US Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management land just outside of Cuba, New Mexico had not been visited, and I had field work that would take me right by there! (As a field biologist, I have found my Garmin GPS III+ invaluable for documenting things like nest sites, etc. and have become reasonably adept with it). So on my way home 6 September 2001, I set the coordinates as a way point and when I was as close as possible on NM Highway 197 (1.04 km), I pulled into the closest driveway. The owner was a bit dubious, didn't really understand lat-longs, but eventually allowed me to cross his land "just this once" to access public lands. I parked 600 m from the confluence on Forest Service land, walked up a steep dry wash (Picture 2) and followed the GPS III+ to the confluence, where I tried several positions until I got very close, let it average 500 points and came out 1/1000th of a degree off (Picture 3). At home with the Mapsource Program, my rock pile monument measured 8 feet (< 3 m) south of the actual confluence.
The confluence is on the slope of a ravine on the east side of Cuba Mesa so that the only clear view is toward the Jemez Mountains across the Rio Puerco Valley to the east (Picture 4). I climbed up to the west 30 m +/- to get views to the northeast toward Cuba (Picture 5) and south along the Rio Puerco (Picture 6).
Completely public access would involve driving south on Forest Service roads on Cuba Mesa from U. S. Highway 550 until reaching 36 degrees, then working east down through a cliff line and on down to the confluence. Or you may find a landowner willing to let you cross private land from NM 197, which is much closer, but don't count on it!.